Ferdy traces the life of Fr Ferdinand Parer o.f.m. As a Franciscan friar, he was a
champion of the poor, the depressed, the marginalised and the disabled. A saintly
man, he has been described as a prophet of our times. Fr Ferdy Parer also had strong
family ties and was close to his brother, Damien Parer, a wartime photographer.
In 1946, Fr Ferdy became a pioneer Franciscan Missionary inAitape, Papua New
Guinea. While there, Bishop Doggett said of him, “He lived a contemplative style of
life, like his brother, Damien. He had the spirituality of St Francis and was a
resourceful missionary, living with the people.”
During the 1970’s, Fr Ferdy spent years on Palm Island helping the Aboriginal people
and established Alcoholics Anonymous for them.
From 1980, onwards as chaplain to the St Vincent de Paul Hostel in Brisbane, Fr
Ferdy had contact with people from many organizations: the Society of St Vincent de
Paul, the Royal Blind Foundation, the Little Kings Movement, Alcoholics Anonymous,
GROW, Holyoake, the Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care Group, and the Sporting
Wheelies. He was a familiar and well-loved figure in Brisbane.
Published in 2003. with 256 illustrated pages and one map in soft cover. This book
covers Franciscan History, mission life in Papua New Guinea and Palm Island , caring
groups in Brisbane and Parer family history.
Purchase price $AUD25. Postage within Australia $AUD5.
Tubuan and Tabernacle follows the lives of two men who played a prominent part in
the religious and cultural development of the present Papua New Guinea from the time
of the First World War.
Fr Bernard Franke was born in Germany, joined the MSC order, and worked from 1928
to 1984 as a missionary in New Britain. Benedict To Varpin was born in New Britain,
was ordained priest in 1971, and became Archbishop of Madang from 1987 to 2001.
An introductory section describes the traditional beliefs and practices of the people of
New Britain, and the spirit world that was so real to them. There are the dramas as
missionaries first meet the local people, and tensions between Catholics and other
Christian groups. Action-packed chapters include many stories of suffering and
kindness and heroism during the Second World War, as well as during times of
volcanic eruptions. The author’s lasting friendship with these two central figures is
shown in her study of some of the serious issues at work, told with a wealth of personal
detail and comedy.
Two themes emerge from the spread of Christianity throughout the region. There is the
growing friendship and respect between the Christian churches, illustrated by various
human stories of meetings between Catholic, Anglican and United Church clergy. Then
there is the inculturation, or acceptance by the Christian churches of traditional
customs that had at first been rejected as harmful superstitions.
The title word tubuan stands for a custom among the Tolai people of Rabaul, involving
a special dance with men wearing a symbolic dress. Traditionally, there are strong
associations with the spirit world, and some of these involve harmful spirits. The
inculturation promoted by people such as Bernard Franke and Benedict To Varpin
meant the freeing of the traditional custom from the harmful and superstitious
elements, so that it could be a way of celebrating the rich history and culture of the
people. As such it has come to take its place in community life alongside the
tabernacle, a symbol that stands at the heart of the Catholic ritual.
The book also covers aspects of the lives of Archbishop Hermann ToPaivu and the
Blessed Peter ToRot.
Published in 2007 with 282 illustrated pages in soft cover. The book covers mission
history in Rabaul, Madang and Yule Island.
Purchase price $35. Postage within Australia $AUD5